Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pinterest, you give me all the best recipes.

Good Morning! It's Tuesday and I'm feeling pretty darn good today.  I think it may be the extra sleep that I got this morning or maybe its just the sunshine but for the first time in a few weeks, I'm ready to start the day without a pot of coffee.

Not that I'd make coffee on most days.  I get too busy with other stuff.

So I found an awesome recipe on Pinterest the other day. I know.  You. Are. Shocked.

Puddin'Head frosting.  The blogger over at Not Just Cute posted this simple recipe, along with a ton of things to use it on.  I'm (not) ashamed to admit I've just been eating it straight out of the container I made it in.  Yeah, it went on a cake too but it's just delicious on it's own.

Don't judge me.

Here it is.  Puddin' Head in all it's delicious whipped glory.  I'm thinking this is my new go to frosting since it's cheap, simple, quick and easily customizable.  All you do is mix a package of instant pudding and half of the milk it calls for on the box.  Once the pudding begins to thicken up a bit, fold in a container of whipped cream.

And done.   Seriously, a 5 minute frosting.

I used vanilla but I'm positive just about any pudding flavor would be delicious. I love how this stuff tastes too... Not overpoweringly sweet but not as bland as some of the other whipped frostings.

I'm thinking of stuffing it between to cookies today.  Um. Yes.  I am going to do that.

So today's Summer Blog Challenge Prompt is...

Share a black and white photo you've taken.

I don't really take black and white photos.  I like color...  So how about I share what I took a picture of the other day!

That was taken from my deck the other day after a storm.  Please note the grey.  This almost fulfills today's SBC requirements of black and white. ;)

Until next time, Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Show and Tell Day!

So today's Summer Blog Challenge prompt is really a show and tell prompt.

If you do art, show some art or doodling you've done.  Don't do art?  Then share something you like!

Well well well... This is an interesting prompt.

Okay, so I'm no artist... I like to pretend though.

The painting in the picture?  Yeah, that's about as far as my artistic abilities reach.  Unless, of course, you count the toys.

I never considered my crocheting to be an art but have had people call me a "crochet artist."  I was just tickled when a Sugar Crumbs customer called me an "excellent artist" in her feedback.  So since I can boast about my painting or drawing or sculpting, I'll share a few of my little creatures with you.

So here are some of the Sugar Crumbs gang.  Most of these have found homes (and been remade) but a few I like to keep around.  The little white bear on the right?  That's Pickles.  He recently went to New York and is being well loved by the family he went to.  I just got an email from her updating me! (I loved that, lol)

So maybe I can't paint, draw or sculpt.  But I do think that there is something artistic about taking a piece of yarn and bringing it to life.

And on that note, I'm off.  There's a little creature waiting to get her legs.  No, really.  She has no legs yet.

Until next time, Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

6 Things Sunday. Life.

It's Sunday.  I'm officially falling off the Summer blog challenge thing, I think.  Mostly because some of the prompts would just be a waste for me to write about.

Please see my last post on alternative energy.

It's  not that they aren't good prompts but some just don't apply to me.  However, today's prompt is one that made me think.

How does your life measure up to the one you envisioned as a child?

I had to giggle at this one.  Only because I remember the silly notions I had as a child.  Big house, white picket fence and diner parties on the terrace.  Pretty sure I didn't even know what a terrace was when I was younger.

Actually, I was a typical little girl with typical dreams.  Awesome husband, no kids, a house to call home and a dog to greet me when I came home from my job of being a doctor/celebrity.

I don't think it's absolutely necessary to tell you my life didn't quite turn out like that.  So today I give you this.

6 Things Adulthood Handed Me That I Didn't Expect.

1. Kids.
Not one, not two... but three.  As a kid, I had decided I was never having children.  I had better things to do than "tend to a squawking brood of brats."  And yet, here I am.  Blessed with 3 amazing little boys.  After having my first, I knew being a mommy was EXACTLY what my heart not only needed but wanted.  I just love being a mom.

2. Divorce.
I think ever little girl dreams of happily ever after... Including me.  However, what I was handed the first time around was a divorce that came from complete emotional anguish and the realizations that "Happily Ever Afters" really are just for fairy tales.

3. Toy making.
I've always enjoyed being productive.  But I never imagined that I'd spend my time at home, making cutesy little toys.

4. Remarriage.
I didn't expect divorce... Do you really think I envisioned getting married a second time?  But I did.  Very hesitantly, I opened my heart to someone else, learned to trust and learned that just because "Happily Ever Afters" are for fairy tales doesn't mean that real life can't be equally magical.  In my husband, I've found my best friend and confidant and learned to trust once again.

5. Laundry.
I never expected so much laundry.

I've reached a point where I enjoy pursuing things.  But not so much to change my life or world.  I'm content with where I am.

Even though that means I'm just a stay at home mom, blogging when I'm not taking care of 3 crazy kids or creating some new toy instead of traveling the world as a celebrity doctor.

So does my life measure up to what I envisioned as a kid?

Not at all.

It is so much more beautiful than I ever hoped.

Until next time, Happy Sunday.


*Don't forget to enter the giveaway for Sweet Goodness Balm!  Only 6 Days left!*

Friday, July 27, 2012

Reminiscing, Reviewing and a Giveaway.

I'm a little blue today.  Not in a big way but enough to mention it.

Why?  Because I'm putting away newborn clothes.  That's right... my little guy has already outgrown them.  Additionally, he's outgrown his newborn cloth diapers.  The little fitted diapers barely fit, the covers only have a few days left of use (the kids growing like a weed...) and the prefolds... Well, I could probably get away with those for a while.

In fact, I've got to say, the prefolds have been my favorite.  I know that's got to sound ridiculous since there are so many amazing brands and types of cloth diapers out there but seriously.  The prefolds have been work horses.  The are amazingly soft, super absorbent and they take a lot of abuse.

I mean, check this out...

So here is a stack of my newborn prefolds.  I just took this about 5 minutes ago.  They have been used daily for over 5 weeks.  And amazingly, not one stain.  I am attributing this to the fact that I can wash them in crazy hot water (without worrying about elastic or anything...) and I can sun bleach the mess out of them without worrying about fading a cute print.

No pun intended. (Sun bleach the mess out of them... of course I typed that.)

I am highly recommending any soon to be cloth diapering mamas to invest in some prefolds.  They're cheap enough that you can buy the newb size along with the "regular" size.  I'm a huge fan of CottonBabies.com.  The infant size is just $1.50 a piece!  I ordered 24 since I wash every two days and it has worked extremely well for us.

Want to know what else has worked for us?

This is Sweet Goodness Balm by My Posh Nest, home of Sweet Cheeks Laundry.  I bought this straight from the seller, hoping and praying for something to help relieve my little ones dry skin problem.  Little Mister doesn't get diapers rashes... instead he has super dry skin that gets irritated over wetness.  On top of that, he has sensitive skin that doesn't play nicely with a lot of skin products.  So we had tried multiple products with little to no luck.

I came across Sweet Goodness balm and figured I'd give it a shot.  After all, it claims to help dry skin, diaper rashes, eczema, sunburn, bug bites... you know... a jack of all trades product.  I was a little skeptical but have been pleasantly surprised!   Little Mister's dry skin was relieved and has stayed perfectly baby soft, smooth and clear since using it.  On top of that, I've used it on sunburns (beach trip... gah!) and it not only feels wonderful on my burn but really improved some areas of it.

This may or may not have something to do with the all natural, moisturizing ingredients it boasts.  Organic coconut oil, organic olive oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, calendula... It really is super moisturizing.  However, it isn't greasy in the least.  It rubs in, leaving nothing but smooth skin.  And an awesome smell.  I'm really loving the fresh cut grass scent I've been using.

I'm also loving the $5.25 price tag.

In fact, I'm loving it so much that I'm giving away two 1 oz tube of Sweet Goodness Balm. You know how much I love to share awesome finds!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oh, and today's Summer Blog Challenge...

Talk about an alternative energy source.

I'm going to have to call Optimus Prime and see if he can explain energon a little more.  Er, what kind of energy they use on Cybertron. 

Oh, Transformers... You are stuck in my head.

Until next time, Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Super Mom!

I know, I know... Where have I been?  I could tell you... but you know... I'm not one to talk about my spontaneous...

BAM!  There it is.  I was at the beach.  I took a break from my daily rambling to go roast with my family.  And roast I did.  My shoulders are a lovely shade of reddish purple.

So much for sunblock working.  Seriously.  I used it!  Now I'm basking in the cool amazingness of aloe.

Today's Summer Blog Challenge will bring me back a bit.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

I'd say X-Ray vision but I'm pretty sure that would make me look like a perv.

And would be a lie anyway.

I want to have the ability to duplicate myself at whim so that I can have one of me doing dishes, the other running errands and one bathing dirty little boys at the end of the day.  The real me would just do the fun stuff.  Ya know, like playing with Legos and bouncing the baby.

What exactly is that power called?  Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen inspired this brilliant idea for me.

Either way, that's what I'd want.  And this question also makes me want to watch this video over and over again...

Until next time, Happy Thursday!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Beat it! (The heat, that is...)

It's 84 degrees here today.  Not too bad.  Of course, I'm plopped down in front of a vent pumping out cold air so maybe I'm wrong.

But when I let the dog out, it didn't seem too bad.

Either way, this a great change considering the past few weeks have featured days of 104 degrees.  I'm. Not. Kidding.  (What I am doing is melting.)

So what's a family to do to beat the heat?  That's just what today's Summer Blog Challenge is all about.

How do you beat the heat?

Inner Child Fun
With these amazing contraptions found at Inner Child Fun.  So these are Sponge Bombs.  You throw these bad boys in a bucket of (ice cold) water, let 'em get nice and wet and then toss them at... well, anyone who gets close enough.  My kids found it endlessly entertaining to throw them at me while I was 9 months pregnant and unable to run away.

Yeah... they may have a touch of my sadistic sense of humor.

Can I just say how amazing it is to have a water balloon type fight without tying knots in little balloons?  I hate tying off balloons.

Okay, the best part of this is the ease of the project.  Take a sponge, cut it in thirds lengthwise and tie them together.  Some people used fishing line or zip ties,  I used... yarn.  (You knew I was going to say that.  I have an overabundance of yarn and it needs to be used.) After it's all tied together, fluff it up a bit.

That's it.  The end.  You've made one. Make 9 more and you'll have 10.  Enough for a fun battle for two.  (Or more, if you want to make fighting for a bomb part of the game... which we did.)

I used the .97 pack of two sponges found in the dish washing section at the grocery store.  So the whole thing was $5.  Less than a large package of water balloons, easier to make and reusable.

AKA- Awesome.

So there ya go!  Buy some sponges, make some sponge bombs and beat the heat.

Until next time, Happy Monday!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

6 Things Sunday. Gardening.

It's Sunday.  You know what that means... my (almost) weekly list of 6 things of amazingness.

It's also day 52 (really???) of the Summer Blog Challenge.  And it turns out that today's prompt is perfect for 6 Things Sunday.

What's your best gardening tip.

Crap.  I'm no farmer.  I grew a handful of tomatoes... but they barely made it.  Granted, I didn't take much time to care for them (Hey, I was HUGELY pregnant.) but you know... even if I had, the plants would have been... lacking.

Jon, on the other hand, is a gardening pro.  So I called him in on this one.  Allow me to present...

6 Gardening Tips (for people who want to garden but don't know where to start), as told by garden pro, Jon.

When Erin asked me to write six gardening tips I was afraid that I’d have to write about soil pH and fertilizer and all sorts of things I know are important but will probably never care about. Truth is, I was raised gardening and there are some simple things I do that somehow work. I might test my soil acidity level when I’m retired and Erin’s thrown me out of the house to find something to do, but until then, I’ll stick to my basics!

1. Grow what you like to eat.At first, I thought I wasn’t a “real” gardener unless I could grow…well pretty much everything that grows. But I don’t like eggplant, I’m not a fan of radishes and I’m confused about why okra exists. Figure out some of your favorite veggies and give them a shot!

Erin likes eggplant... and so it was planted.
2. You don’t have to start with seeds.My family always grew our plants from seed. You know what? If I’m buying an entire pack of seeds to grow four tomato plants when I can get nice, healthy tomato plants from the greenhouse for $1.99 a pack…I’d be dumb not to. If you have a small garden, just go to the greenhouse and make your neighbors jealous at your healthy plants.

If you don’t water your plants, they die. (The same is true about me and coffee but that’s another story). Water every day it doesn’t rain. If you’re not sure if it needs water, feel the soil: in your hand it should feel more like a cake than a cookie.

4. Yellow leaves don’t come back.I know, I know. If you’re like me and leaves start turning yellow you’ll start watering in the hopes they’ll magically turn green again. They won’t! They’re messengers that the plant’s having trouble and needs your attention - so focus on the healthy part.

5. Watch those weeds.Weeds are the junk mail of gardening. They arrive in masses and cover up the important stuff before you even realize you must have thrown out your mortgage bill in the wad of pizza and window installation ads. Keep after the weeds and your plants will get the attention they need!

See! No weeds!

6. Enjoy it!Above all, take time to enjoy your garden. It can be a lot of work but there’s nothing like smelling the tomato plants, seeing the shine of ripening peppers or feeling the crisp snap of fresh green beans in your fingertips. Hey, maybe you only cut a couple of bucks off your grocery bill but life’s about more than a budget and scary pesticides. Whether you grow on a rooftop, on a deck, in a yard or on a farm, grow for you!

Grow because you can.

Wow... Jon does know his stuff.

Until next time, Happy Sunday!


Friday, July 20, 2012

And I thought casseroles were limited to Tuna Noodle...

Okay, that's not entirely true...  I know lots of casserole recipes.  But for some reason, I tend to make tuna noodle more than any other.  Probably because of how easy it is.

Not. Anymore.

So I was on Pinterest last week and came across this pin.

Pearls, Handcuffs and Happy Hour

That, my dear readers, is Meatball Sandwich Casserole.    The blogger at Pearls, Handcuffs and Happy Hour found this recipe and decided to make it.  And apparently it was a hit at her house since her husband called to praise her for it while eating the leftovers the next day.

I don't know about you but there's nothing that makes me happier than a good meal that's still delicious the next day.

With that sort of praise, I had to try it.  $10 and 45 minutes gave me this...

Uuuuh, my point and shoot doesn't take amazing pictures.  And this still look pretty darn tasty to me.

Side note:  I need casserole dishes.  This glorious meal was made in a foil lined 13x9. (And I had to make one foil wall shorter since the recipe is NOT for a 13x9.)  Shame, shame, shame.

This not enough to tempt you?

And it's even on my favorite red plate.  You know that means I loved it, right?

Okay, so we loved this casserole.  So much that BOTH of my picky little boys cleaned their plates and asked for more.  Jon cleared his plate and got more.  And then ended up way too full. Pretty sure that means he enjoyed it.  As for me?  Well, I'm just wondering if I can get away with making some I don't have to share...

That sort of result doesn't give away the simplicity of this recipe.  Frozen onions and peppers, frozen meatballs, a sliced baguette, spaghetti sauce and lots of mozzarella cheese are all you need to make this impressive dish.  Oh, and 10 minutes of prep time.  The rest of the 45 minutes I mentioned is just bake time!

Easy.  (Perhaps Busy Mom Meal worthy?)

So you need to make this.  Like, right now.  Because it's amazing.  Head over to Pearls, Handcuffs and Happy Hour for the full recipe!

It's that time again!  Time for the Summer Blog Challenge.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?

Let's ask Jon...

  • Buy a house near the woods.  This house must include a stream.  A craft room for both of us.  And a maid.
  • Start a ceramics business.  Make it appealing to the masses. 
That's it.  Seriously.  Jon gave me two things.  This is after telling me he'd get professional financial advice and wanting to know the exact amount of the lottery winnings.

Jon's so responsible.  Good thing since this is my list...

  • Buy a house!  By the woods!  With an underground movie theater.
  • Build an enormous craft studio.  No boys allowed.
  • Visit Peru
  • Invest in more yarn!
  • Buy a Silhouette Cameo.  That's on my brain lately.
  • Learn to fly a plane.
  • Build a barn near my new house.
  • Fill said barn with appropriate animals.
  • I'd like chickens and goats, please.
  • Take the kids to LegoLand!
  • Maybe Disney World too...
  • Install a pool.
  • Get swimming lessons so I can enjoy the new pool.
  • All new clothes!
  • For EVERYONE!!!!
  • Cotton. Candy. Maker.  I don't really know why.
  • Hire someone to dust.
  • Hire someone to make me sushi on demand.
I think I made an assumption... Limitless money. lol.

Until next time, Happy Friday!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Are you afraid of the dark?

Am I the only one who remembers that show on Nick?

So today's Summer Blog Challenge is a fun one!

What are 5 things to do if the power goes out?

If you ask my husband, he'll tell you to locate candles and make sure that we keep the fridge closed and all the responsible adult stuff.  I'm going to give you the fun list.

Apartment Therapy
1.  Build a Fort.

Zoes Corner, $23.31
2. Light candles.  Lots of them.  

Jon insists that I add that you should light them safely.  We don't condone burning your house down because of the next thing on my list.

3.  Make S'mores.  

You just lit 8 million candles.  You can make s'mores.  Jon is somewhere whispering safely, I assume.

4.  Tell scary stories.

Even if it's just to the cat.

5. Sleep.

Ta-Da! Indoor camping at it's finest.

(Sure beats Jon's list.)

Until next time, Happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012


The Summer Blog Challenge always has a way of making me smile.  And today is no exception.

Talk about a random act of kindness.

My family taught me the joy of giving at a young age.  Which stuck with me.  Nothing gives me as much fulfillment as making other people happy.  Whether it be a random gift, lending a helping hand or sending an encouraging letter, I try to keep up with random acts of kindness.

One of my favorite stories happened at a craft store.  I was off buying yarn (that I probably didn't need) and while checking out, I struck up conversation with an elderly woman holding wool yarn behind me.  She was commenting on how nice it was to see young people crocheting and told me about some of her projects.  I stuck around after I paid to keep talking while she checked out.  Turns out she was a bit short and couldn't pay for her yarn.  So I paid for it. It wasn't much, under $10, but she was so happy not to have to wait till the next time she could get a ride.  And I was thrilled to have helped feed someone else's yarn collection. ;)

Want to start acting kindly in a more random fashion?  Visit RandomActsofKindness.org for ideas, resources and inspirational stories!   RAK is awesome... even more awesome than yarn.


Monday, July 16, 2012

I love it in my room at night... And all day.

Ah, Monday.

You know, everyone hates Monday.  Why is that?  Is it just because the weekend is over?  I must be a mom... the days just run together.

However, I do know it's day 46 of the Summer Blog Challenge.

What's your favorite room in your house?

Easy.  My bedroom.  Hands down.

It's still a work in progress but I LOVE it.

Okay, so this is the nursery.  But my bedroom looked a lot like this when we moved in.  Our room is bigger but same dull walls and whatnot.

This is the room now.  Still a work in progress but it's just a cozy room.  We went with a light blue for the walls... it reminds me of the sky.  And yes, there is a fence in there.

By the way, the headboard... yeah, those are my closet doors.  Took them off and painted them and they made a perfect headboard.

I've had people say it looks kind of country cottage-ish.  It does... ya know, aside from the weird things I've added.

Like my jellyfish...

Or my venus fly trap.  Everyone needs a carnivorous plant, ya know?

These three also live in my room...

Oh yeah... and the book mobile thing I made forever ago.

So what's left?

Decorating my mess of an office area.  But I have ideas... And I'm pretty sure you'll be seeing some of those come to life very soon.  We shall see.

So what room do you love the most?  And would you really say my room is cottage-ish?

Until next time, Happy Monday!


Saturday, July 14, 2012

My advice to you...

Today's Summer Blog Challenge has left me stumped.  It shouldn't be difficult but it has been.

What's one piece of advice you'd like to give to your children?

I'm stumped.  Because of the endless things I'd like for them to know, I have to pick just one.  Which means the prompt really is "What's the most important piece of advice you can give your children?"

So this is how I'll answer.


No matter what's going on in life, no matter how hard things get, just keep going.  Storms pass and seasons change.  So don't give up. Ever.  Live your life.  Life is too beautiful to stay at a standstill.

It seems like bleak advice but we've all had those moments where we wonder what in the world we're doing.  We've all had those days where we want to just hide away from the world.  It's easy to let negativity hold you back.  But I want my children to know that no matter how bad things may feel, happiness is right around the corner.

Until tomorrow, Happy Saturday!

Friday, July 13, 2012

That's a wrap!

Remember back in the day when I was making all the baby carriers?  Well there's one I have yet to show you.  And now that I've had a chance to try it out (and see how awesome it really is!) I have to share with you my favorite DIY carrier.

So most people end up with those Moby carriers when they have newborns.  At least, this is the way it seems.  Moby wraps are great... soft, stretchy.  But they're hot.  Seriously.  They make the user feel like they're in the Sahara.  Especially if it's summer.  Which is why I decided I wasn't going to get one.

Instead, I decided to make a light summer wrap of my own.  I bought 5 yards of white cotton gauze at Joann's with a 40% off coupon.  It ended up being just over $12.  After prewashing it, I cut it in half length wise and finished the edges.  Tada!  Two soft, breathable wraps.  

However, white just isn't my thing. Because I have boys.  Nothing stays white when you have young boys.  So I dyed one of the wrap.

2 packages of Dylon fabric dye and a few hours of work (including washing and drying), and this is what I ended up with.

Can you believe how well this gradient dye job came out?  

It reminds me of a summer sky.  Perfect for my little summer baby!

So I have another white wrap.  Pretty sure it needs to be yellow.  So keep a look out for the wrap and dye tutorial.  They're coming!

Side Note.  Today is day 43 of the Summer Blog Challenge.  And you'll never guess what it is.

Post Then and Now Photos of Yourself.

You got it!

Ah, 19 year old Erin.  




And 25.

Yeah, I'm 26 now but whatever.  The only pics I have of myself right now include dark circles under my eyes and baby drool on my shirt.

Until tomorrow, Happy Friday!
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